National affordable housing developer, McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., and the Puerto Rico Department of Housing, have officially opened Renaissance Square, a new mixed-income apartment community located in Hato Rey.
A public/private partnership between the Department of Housing, McCormack Baron Salazar, Citi Community Development, and Hunt Capital Partners, the project used public dollars to leverage private equity, resulting in a $35.5 million investment in the transformation of a formerly vacant public housing site, developers said.
The new community has 140 apartment homes with one-, two- and three-bedroom units affordable to families with a range of incomes; of the 140 total units, 60 percent are reserved for very-low income families, 20 percent are reserved for workforce, and 20 percent have market-rate rents.
Located in the heart of the San Juan’s Golden Mile financial district, the community has walk-up and townhome-style apartment buildings with market-rate amenities, green energy-saving design, and resilient features.
“Both research and history have proven that strong and vibrant communities are ones with a mix of income levels, where people from different backgrounds live and work together,” said Vincent R. Bennett, president of McCormack Baron Salazar.
“We have completed just such a community in Renaissance Square, and we couldn’t be prouder of this place and how it will impact this neighborhood and San Juan,” Bennett said.
The Spanish and Classical style buildings connect to the larger neighborhood, providing residents access to job centers, transportation, schools and recreation. It also includes state-of-the-art site amenities with onsite management space, as well as a community space with a fitness room and a business center for residents.
As a mixed-use development, Renaissance Square incorporates commercial space to be occupied by Supermercado Centro Ahorros Milla de Oro, the developers added.
“We’re proud to provide this level of affordability within a first-rate community, and we look forward to more projects like Renaissance Square,” said Daniel F. Acosta, senior vice president of McCormack Baron Salazar and director of development for Puerto Rico.
“The opening of Renaissance Square is part of a long-awaited revitalization that we hope will change the landscape of the community,” he said. The community also has integrated health and safety features like walking trails, play areas, community gardens, site lighting, and controlled-access parking.
In addition to being a mixed-income community, the Renaissance Square buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a Category 4 storm and include hurricane-rated doors, windows, roofs and structures.
McCormack Baron Salazar is also the lead developer in the redevelopment of housing sites in Historic Old San Juan and in Caguas.
A core component of the McCormack Baron Salazar development approach is “layering public and private funds to transform communities across the country,” executives said.
At Renaissance Square, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Puerto Rico Department of Housing committed funding and the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority provided low-income housing tax credits.
Hunt Capital Partners provided tax credit equity and Citi Community Capital serves as the construction lender.
Planning and architectural services are provided by Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón. The general contractor for the redevelopment effort is F&R Construction Group Inc.